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Oberlin considered as potential host for National Folk Festival


OBERLIN — The National Council for the Traditional Arts is eyeing the city as a potential location to host the 2015-17 National Folk Festival.

Two representatives of NCTA toured the city Thursday, stopping at the State of the City address. NCTA Executive Director Julia Olin said she has been visiting various locations but declined to reveal potential sites.

Olin said the city applied to the NCTA to host the festival and was considered a finalist. She said a decision should be made in the next few weeks.

First held in 1934, the National Folk Festival is the oldest multicultural festival of traditional arts in the nation, according to NCTA’s website. It is a traveling festival, in which the three-year stay in each host city is “intended to lay the groundwork for sustainable, locally produced festivals and events that continue after NCTA moves on.”

The three-day festival, in which musicians and craftspeople from across the country participate, is free to audiences.

During Oberlin’s State of the City Address on Thursday, Ralph Potts, president of the Oberlin Business Partnership’s board of trustees, touted the importance of the festival.

“This particular situation is very exciting to Oberlin, because it could be a big boost,” he said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

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